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FAQs: Lawn Mowing

Frequently Asked Questions About Lawn Mowing

How often should I mow my lawn?

Mow when the grass is actively growing, and mow often enough so you never cut more than one third of the grass blade each time. For cool season grasses, the peak time for top growth is in the spring and you will need to cut it weekly at a minimum until the grass goes dormant in the heat of summer. Note that other brands of quick release fertilizers will provide a dose of nutrients to turf that cannot be immediately used by the grass plant and will result in excessive top growth. The excessive top growth will necessitate mowing multiple times a week. To minimize that excessive top growth, use the proprietary slow release nitrogen technologies in all Greenview Fairway Formula Fertilizers.

What do I do with the grass clippings?

If you are mowing regularly and not removing more than 1/3 of the grass blade height, clippings can be left on the lawn and will provide a nutrient source to the grass plant as the organic material decays. When leaving clippings on the lawn, it is important to check the thickness of thatch. A thatch layer greater than 1 inch, may prevent the clippings from reaching the soil. In this case, you will need to bag the clippings or de-thatch your lawn.

What mowing height should I set my lawn mower?

A.J. Powell Jr., Extension Turf Specialist with the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture recommends a mowing height of two to two and one-half inches for Kentucky bluegrass, tall fescue and creeping red fescue; one to two inches for perennial ryegrass; one-half to one inch for Bermuda grass, and three-fourths to one inch for Zoysia grass. It is important to maintain the recommended height of the grass blades so that roots stay cool and moist, and to create a barrier between airborne seeds and the ground so weeds cannot germinate.

I’ve heard of burnt lawns from over-mowing. How does this happen?

Grass that is mowed below the recommended height for the species will not absorb the light that it needs for photosynthesis which feed the root, and your lawn may take on a brownish hue. So the more grass blade you leave, the more light it absorbs and the healthier the lawn wil be. Dull lawn mower blades can also cause damage to the grass blade and tear the tops off rather than cutting the tip of the grass blade smoothly. Rough edges on the grass plant leaves it susceptible to disease and insect damage, so remember to check and sharpen your lawn mower blades.

Should I fertilize my lawn before or after I mow?

It is recommended to mow before applying fertilizer.

When can I stop mowing?

The short answer is to stop when the grass blades stops growing. For cool season species, shoot growth stops when temperatures drop below 40F and exceed 90F. Root growth will continue in the fall and through part of the winter, even after the shoot growth ends.

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